Welcome. This site was created to support the Queens Library Learning 2.0 Program, a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies and reward them for doing 23 1/2 Things.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

by the numbers

We've been seeing a lot of posts (and hearing from folks) that people feel like they're falling behind. Here are some quickly-compiled stats from the children's desk on a rainy Saturday:

42 percent of registered participants have not done anything beyond setting up their blogs and making initial test posts.

Less than 5 percent of registered participants are "up-to-date" (or have completed 12 Things).

The median number of Things completed is 5.

The average number of Things completed is 6.45.

Further, 65 percent of people have made between 1 and 5 blog posts; 30 percent people have made between 6 and 10 blog posts; 5 percent of people have made 11 or more posts.

Even if you're not on Thing 12, you're not behind. You are simply moving at your own pace. Some Things will take more time than others. Stick with it!

The more active blogs include: Barb's Blog, Fun to Learn, Haydee's Space, Library Land, Library thoughts and musings, Newbie YA Librarian, The Queens Blogger, Sherwood Living Library, Stream of Consciousness, and Where does that leave you?

Use the above blogs to see examples and ask questions. Or, post them here. Tell us what you want tips about. You can also post questions to your own blogs. We try to read each of your posts.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

if we took a holiday ...

I posted Thing 12 a few minutes ago and Queens Library Learning 2.0 is officially on mid-term break until Monday, November 5.

Use this time to catch up or ignore all things technological. Visit each others' blogs, leave comments, leave questions here, or post things to QL Chat.

I hope to post some tips and hints next week, but there will be absolutely no new Things.

Be good,
--Hood and Hat, your faithful QL L2.0 Team Leader

#12 Roll your own search engine

Do you have a group of websites that are your favorites? Or a set of online resources that are similar that you frequently use to answer homework or reference questions? Well Rollyo may be the tool for you. Rollyo allows you to create your own search tool for the just the websites you know and trust.

Take a look at some of these search rolls that have already been created:

* Public Domain e-Books Search
* Free Photos
* Everything Star Wars
* Reference
* Explore other rolls here.

Discovery Exercise:

1. Explore Rollyo and create an account for yourself.
2. Create a search roll for any subject you like.
3. Create a post in your blog about your experience and link to your search roll.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

#11 Thing This: LibraryThing

Are you book lover or cataloger at heart? Or do you enjoy finding lost and forgotten gems on the shelf to read? Then LibraryThing may be just the tool for you. Developed for booklovers, this online tool not only allows you to easily create an online catalog of your own it also connects you to other people who have similar libraries and reading tastes.

Add a book to your catalog by just entering the title -- It’s so easy that you don’t even need MARC record training to do it – or connect with other users through your similar reading tastes. There are lots of ways to use LibraryThing. You can even view your books on a virtual shelf, add a widget to display titles that are in your catalog or install a LT Search box on your blog.

So why not join the ranks and create your own library online.

Discovery Resources:

* About LibraryThing
* Library Thing tour
* LibraryThing blog (updates & news)

Discovery Exercise:

1. Take a look around LibraryThing and create an account.
2. Add a least 5 books to your library.
3. Blog about your findings and be sure to link to your LibraryThing catalog.

*Photo - Andreas Gursky, Library, 1999.

Monday, October 22, 2007

#10 Play around with Image Generators

Generators? No, we're not talking about those gas powered back-up things. The generators we are talking about allow you to easily manipulate image and graphics to create fun images like this*:

For this discovery exercise, have fun. Find a few fun image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result. Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post.

If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a co-worker for help. In looking at several staff blogs, it’s easy to see that we have lots of people in the system who have figured out how easy it is to add images to their blogs.

Discovery Resources:

The Generator Blog
Letter James
FD Toys

Also try searching for online generators, text generators or image generators!

Discovery Exercise:

1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.
2. Post the result of your discovery process in your blog.
Note: Be sure to include a link to the image generator itself, so other participants can discover it too.

So take some time and have fun with this exercise. And remember to be tasteful too!

* Image created with Custom Neon Sign Generator

Sunday, October 21, 2007

High five

Welcome to Week 5. This week we'll be playing. You will:
  • Play around with an online image generator.
  • Take a look at LibraryThing and catalog some of your favorite books.
  • Roll your own search tool with Rollyo.

When you've completed this week's Things, you will be half-way to earning that $25 gift card and a chance to win a laptop. If you're just starting, it might be easier to view the list of things in order, 1-23.

As usual, the Things will be posted throughout the week. Play! Discover! Have a Blast!

Friday, October 19, 2007

#9 Feeding frenzy

Now that you have a newsreader (your Bloglines account), you can begin adding other newsfeeds that interest you. There are several ways you can locate newsfeeds:

When visiting your favorite websites -- look for news feed icons that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site. (Here's an image that contains a sampling of several feed icons).

Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some news feeds.
  2. Create a blog post about your experience. Don't know what to blog about? Here some questions to think about ...
  • Which method of finding feeds did you find easiest to use?
  • Which Search tool was the easiest for you? Which was more confusing?
  • What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels?
  • Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?
  • What other tools or ways did you find to locate newsfeeds?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

100 Blogs Served!

With the addition of Kendra's Library Learning Blog, we hit 100.

We suggest you celebrate by viewing Short Pencil Saga. (via ALA Direct)

From ALA Focus:

Short pencils: a library fixture you probably take for granted. But not anymore! Using archival footage from the Prelinger Archives, Nick "March of the Librarians" Baker's latest comedic offering delves into the stubby writing implement's exciting history: “It all began thousands of years ago...."

Next Up: Thing 9 will be posted Friday afternoon, but you can go ahead and use Bloglines, Feedster, Technorati, and Syndic8 to explore library-related blogs and feeds.

PS: If you didn't complete this week's (or last week's) discoveries, don't worry, there's still plenty of time. Remember that the official end date for the program is December 24 - and that's still over two months away! Also, you still have tons of time to sign up. Is this format sometimes confusing? View a list of the things in order, 1-23.

PPS: If you're having trouble with something, post a question or comment here. We'll do our best to help.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

#8 Make life simple with RSS

powered by ODEO

You've heard of RSS? You’ve seen those small funny tags on websites? You've heard co-workers and acquaintances swear by it, but still have no idea what RSS is? Well don’t worry, according to a recent survey you’re still in the majority, but this is changing rapidly. In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionalizing the way news, media and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web.

Just think about the websites and news information sources you visit every day. It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it? Now imagine if you could visit all those information sources and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually. Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through a newsreader and RSS.

This week’s discovery exercises focus on learning about RSS news feeds and setting up a Bloglines account (a free online newsreader) for yourself to bring your feeds together.

Discovery Resources:

* CNET Video: RSS – Feel the Need for Feeds (3:32) – a good over view of what RSS is and the benefits to users.

* Feed Me: A gentle introduction to Internet feeds - a good tutorial from Palinet, a library cooperative

* Using Bloglines Tutorial (how to keep up with dozens of blogs everyday) – This online tutorial walks you through how to setup a Bloglines account and add newsfeeds. Follow Steps 1 to 3 to set up your Bloglines account. Steps 4 – 9 are optional and cover how to subscribe to different types of feeds (podcasts, Flickr albums, etc)

* Adding RSS Feeds to Bloglines - A short YouTube video that PLCMC's Helene Blowers created showing how to add feeds.

* Additional Bloglines news feed subcription information (screenshot image)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Follow the discovery resources above to learn more about RSS and newsreaders.
  2. Create a free online Bloglines account for yourself and subscribe to at least 10 newsfeeds to your reader. See Using Bloglines Tutorial steps 1-3 for instructions.
  3. Create a post in your blog about this exercise. Don’t know what to blog about? Think about these questions:
  • What do you like about RSS and newsreaders?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your work or personal life?
  • How can libraries use RSS or take advantage of this new technology?

Please note: While PLCMC's podcast about RSS is posted above, it is not necessary to listen to the podcast to complete the exercise.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Week end, week begin


Last week we flickr'd away. This week we'll tackle RSS feeds. Since there are only two Things for the entire week, we'll be posting them later on. Use this time to read your colleagues' blogs and make comments. Some recent highlights:

Newbie YA Librarian points to links on the Library 2.0 discussion. The Clash Librarian notes, "I am starting to look at other QL Learning 2.0 blogs and there certainly is a range of activity and postings." Library Land gives a shout out to a different set of things, Thing 1 and Thing 2. Be sure to check out May your hands always be busy ... 's post on technology. Not a fan of Flickr? LibraryLearning2.0 posted alternative sites to Flickr.

Total Registrants: 91*

*If you've been lurking and you've set up your blog, be sure to send us an e-mail. There might or might not be a surprise sent to the first 100 registrants. We'd reveal more, but then it wouldn't be a surprise!

Some more new blogs with names we like ...

Rhymes with Shmibrarian
As the Web Turns
No Cellphones

**Image from Fun to learn.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

#7 Blog about Technology

Hello Learning 2.0 participants.

For this thing, simply blog about anything technology related. Yes, it can be anything that relates to technology! You just need to share a few thoughts.

If you haven't had a chance, this would also be a great time to register and explore QL Chat!

PS: Also be sure add at least one comment to another participant's blog. That's what online communities are all about - connecting and communication. :)

PPS: Need more ideas about what to write about? Visit QL L2.0's del.icio.us page. We'll go over del.icio.us in more depth during Week 6, but you can scan the social bookmarking manager now.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

#6 More Flickr Fun

Like many web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups* that use Flickr images. Here are just a sampling of a few …

Discover more mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools.

Discovery Exercise:

Your discovery exercise for this “thing” is to:

  1. Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there.
  2. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you.

If you like, try FD ToysTrading Card Maker. And there’s a ton of librarians out there that have created their own Librarian Trading Card.

So have some fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps. And if you're up to the challenge while you’re at it, why not create a trading card of your own.

* Mashup Note: Wikipedia offers some great articles that explain mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like a map). In this example, you get Mappr.

PS: Learning 2.0 image created by Spell with Flickr.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

#5 Discover Flickr

originally uploaded by ql.things.
Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and is known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site. For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the neat things that people and other libraries are using Flickr for.

Discovery Resources:
· Flickr Learn More tour (6 steps)
· Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials
· Flickr: Popular tags Interesting- Last 7 days
· Flickr Services (3rd party applications & mashups) and let’s not forget to look at some other libraries on Flickr

Discovery Exercise: In this discovery exercise, you have two options…

a. Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. Be sure to include either a link to the image or, if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr's blogging tool to add the image in your post. Another option you have for including images in your post is to use Blogger's photo upload tool.

-- OR --

b. If you're up to an easy challenge ... create a Free account in Flickr and use a digital camera (or a camera phone) to capture a few pictures of something in your community library. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “QueensLibrary and mark it public. Then create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this: through Flickr's blogging tool or using Blogger's photo upload feature.

So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun.

PS: A quick word about photo posting etiquette - When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) is it advisable to get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

PPS: This entry was posted via the "blog this" feature inside Flickr. The photo is of Forest Hills Library, where two of the three QL L2.0 team members work.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Week 2 Round Up

If you've already registered, congratulations. If you're thinking about signing up but haven't joined the party, let us emphasize that you can join up whenever you like as long as you finish everything by December 24. The last "thing" will be posted the week of November 19, and you will have an additional four weeks to finish.

Total Registrants: 61
Total Comments Left on QL L2.0 "official" blogs: 98
Total Blog Names Incorporating "Learn": 7
Total Blog Names Incorporating "Library" or "Librarian": 14
Total Blogs Incorporating a Person's Name: 8
Total Blogs With "Blog" in Name: 7

Some of our favorite names so far:
  • Learning Qurve
  • Lycheelicious
  • Vandal Camaraderie Plaza
  • (what the world needs now is…) One More Blog

    You will, of course, want to write about the Things in your blogs, but please feel free to post about other things that may be of interest, like U.S. Librarians In Prague.

    Next up: Flickr. Due to the holiday, the three things will (probably) be posted on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. In the interim, click around your colleagues' blogs. Leave comments or ask for tips if you see something you like. If you registered but do not see your blog listed under Participants, email us at ql.things@gmail.com